Looking to purchase latex, a few questions

Hi, I’ve been reading this forum and was sure I was ready to get a latex mattress, but I got my first chance to try in-store today and am a bit confused.
The mattress I tried was the RoomandBoard “Natural Latex Mattress with Bio Cotton & Wool” - the only all-latex mattress they sell. When laying on it, I found it to be fantastic, but when I sat on it, I felt like i sank down fast and hit the slats holding the mattress up.
Is this a normal thing for latex mattresses?
Room and Board also had a combination encased coil with 3 inches of latex that felt much more stable (no sinking down when I sat on the edge), but I know that how it feels in the store does not say a lot in terms of longevity or quality.
There don’t seem to be a lot of stores here in the D.C.-area to try latex mattresses, but I’m going to try again tomorrow. I was just curious if this is something I should expect, or if the Room and Board mattress is an outlier or was not on the right bed (it seemed to have metal slats that were about 5 inches apart).
For budget reasons and from reviews here on this site, I was considering getting the Ultimate Dreams mattress from the Amazon store , but after sitting on the R&B mattress today, I’m a bit more nervous.
Any advice is appreciated!

Hi schmac,

[quote]Hi, I’ve been reading this forum and was sure I was ready to get a latex mattress, but I got my first chance to try in-store today and am a bit confused.
The mattress I tried was the RoomandBoard “Natural Latex Mattress with Bio Cotton & Wool” - the only all-latex mattress they sell. When laying on it, I found it to be fantastic, but when I sat on it, I felt like i sank down fast and hit the slats holding the mattress up.
Is this a normal thing for latex mattresses?[/quote]

In a word to different degrees for different firmness levels of latex …yes.

Latex is very “point elastic” which means it will compress in the area of weight without being affected or “resisted” by the area around it nearly as much as other materials. They are not meant for sitting on … only for sleeping or lying on … and its point elasticity is part of why latex can be so supportive for the spinal curves and pressure relieving at the same time. For some people this could be an issue although for most it’s not.

[quote]Room and Board also had a combination encased coil with 3 inches of latex that felt much more stable (no sinking down when I sat on the edge), but I know that how it feels in the store does not say a lot in terms of longevity or quality.
There don’t seem to be a lot of stores here in the D.C.-area to try latex mattresses, but I’m going to try again tomorrow. I was just curious if this is something I should expect, or if the Room and Board mattress is an outlier or was not on the right bed (it seemed to have metal slats that were about 5 inches apart).[/quote]

latex/innerspring hybrids can also make a great choice and the innersprings would not compress as much as most latex. I would also keep in mind that the firmness of the latex core layer and your own weight will also make a difference in how far you sink in. Some of the other options in the DC area are listed in post #2 here although the Washington DC area is not the best area for mattress selection and value. There are certainly lots of choices there for testing though to give you a good sense of various combinations.

Phoenix

Thank you! That is helpful to know. I’m about to head out to test out a few more latex mattresses, I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks again for your response and for this site, I really appreciate all the knowledge you’re putting out here for us!

Hi Phoenix, Thanks so much for all of your advice.
I went out today to test out more latex mattresses. As you said, the DC-area isn’t the best for this! But, I went to the Healthy Back Store, Ikea, and RoomandBoard.
I think what I’m discovering is that I’m not loving the feel of the all-latex mattresses when I first sit on them. (I tried the Serenity on a solid platform at the Healthy Back Store, the Restwell Natural Latex mattress on a bed with metal slats at Room and Board, and every mattress that Ikea had).
I don’t sit on my bed a lot, but what I seemed to notice was that when I first sat down on each all-latex mattresses, I felt like I sank quickly to the bottom of the mattress and could feel the slats beneath, sort of ending with a harsh thud. I won’t be sitting on the mattress much, but I don’t want to get that jolt every time i sit down before laying down to sleep.
For reference, I’m female, about 170 pounds, 5’ 4" and a side-sleeper. I plan to put this mattress on a platform bed from West Elm (wooden slats, about 3" apart)
So, here’s what i’m thinking - let me know if you think I’m on the right track?
I liked the feel of latex-innerspring hybrid at Room and Board ( the Restwell Encased Coil Natural Mattress) and I also felt that the latex-polyfoam mattress at Ikea didn’t bruise my bum when i sat down either.

But, the Room and Board mattress is a bit over my budget, and the Ikea mattress seems to use less-quality materials. So, two questions:

  1. I’ve been looking at the Ultimate Dreams mattress on Amazon and feel like it could be a good choice given the reviews here and my relatively limited budget. Do you think the combination of the latex top and the poly core would give me the benefits of latex that I’ve come to really like for laying on the bed, while still providing enough support so I don’t sink down as soon as I sit?

  2. I’m curious if these hybrids are common (meaning I could find some to try out around DC), made by good manufacturers, and what I should consider when thinking about a spring/latex combo vs a foam/latex combo.

Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated! Many many thanks.

Hi schmac,

[quote]I think what I’m discovering is that I’m not loving the feel of the all-latex mattresses when I first sit on them. (I tried the Serenity on a solid platform at the Healthy Back Store, the Restwell Natural Latex mattress on a bed with metal slats at RoomandBoard, and every mattress that Ikea had)
I don’t sit on my bed a lot, but what I seemed to notice was that when I first sat down on each all-latex mattresses, I felt like I sank quickly to the bottom of the mattress and could feel the slats beneath, sort of ending with a harsh thud. I won’t be sitting on the mattress much, but I don’t want to get that jolt every time i sit down before laying down to sleep.[/quote]

Sometimes the difference is in the details such as firmness … or in the thickness of the layers or the mattress. If you have tried some latex mattresses with firm support cores or are thicker than the Essence or the Ikea Sultan Edsel and you are uncomfortable with how much you sink in when you sit on the edge then you may do better with a latex hybrid but I don’t have the same experience with my latex mattress and it would be rare for most people to feel the foundation under 8 or 9 inches of latex even though it would probably sink more than they are used to with other materials (and the latex would get firmer as it compressed more deeply which could be the reason you feel like you are feeling the foundation). To put this in perspective … sitting on a kitchen chair would be much firmer and normally wouldn’t be an issue for people so it’s typically just a matter of getting used to the feel and performance of a different material … but each person has their own preferences which are most important to them.

[quote]So, here’s what i’m thinking - let me know if you think I’m on the right track?
I liked the feel of latex-innerspring hybrid at Room and Board ( the Restwell Encased Coil Natural Mattress) and I also felt that the latex-polyfoam mattress at Ikea didn’t bruise my bum when i sat down either.[/quote]

The only “right track” is the one that provides you with the best PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and Personal preferences), uses good quality materials to do it, and has good value. The “best” design for each person is described in post #2 here and in post #5 here.

In very general terms it would give you an indication of the “feel” of a talalay latex comfort layer (which is different from the synthetic Dunlop used in the Ikea mattresses) over a polyfoam core but the key again will be in the combination of PPP that it provides. Different combinations of layer thickness and layer softness and other differences in components and layers can make a significant difference in how a mattress feels and performs. Having the same materials is not nearly enough to even “approximate” another mattress even though it can give you a generic idea of the subjective “feel” of that type of combination. Latex mattresses or latex hybrids have many many variations in terms of how they feel and perform although the polyfoam support core would not be as adaptive as having more latex underneath the comfort layer so it would not be the same either sitting (which you may prefer) or sleeping (which you may not prefer). If you were to test a polyfoam/latex hybrid with 3" of blended talalay and you knew the ILD of the latex and it had a polyfoam quilting layer like the Ultimate Dreams then this may be a “rough approximation” of the Ultimate Dreams with the same ILD but there could still be some differences because the support core may have a different firmness level which would also affect the overall feel of the mattress (and to some degree how much you sink in when you sit on the edge).

If I was thinking of the Ultimate Dreams … if you are at all uncertain about the comfort choice you want then I would tend towards one of the versions where you can exchange the comfort layer if your first choice isn’t your best one. I would also try to test a similar latex/polyfoam construction just to increase the odds that it would be suitable for you.

While they may not be “common” … they aren’t “rare” either and it would be well worth calling the retailers on the DC list to ask them if they have a latex/polyfoam hybrid mattress that has about 3" of latex in the comfort layers (or even latex/innerspring hybrids). If some of the retailers carry a mattress like this (regardless of brand) then I would go there to test it so that your own body can answer the questions you are asking. Using theory to try to guess what anyone may feel on a specific mattress is just too subjective IMO to really count on with any certainty for a purchase decision.

Phoenix

Hi Phoenix,

I spent part of yesterday looking at a hybrid mattress. It’s called the Beautyrest Legend Plush and it’s at Sleepys (their version they say of the Black)…I know not a favorite on this site. However, the salesman told me it’s CertaPure and had a latex comfort top in the middle of the bed. It also appears to have quality individually wrapped coils. I liked the feel and was on it for a while. I am going today to Lancaster to Gardners…whom you recommended…to check out their Bliss latex, but having looked at them online I am not sure I can afford them after the Tempurpedic Cloud Luxe mistake.

Is it a really bad idea to consider this “S” mattress?

Hi Lynne,

As you can see in the first and second guideline here … i would call any mattress purchase where the manufacturer won’t disclose the quality of the materials inside it “buyer beware” … especially when you now know that the materials are lower quality than other mattresses in the same price range in any kind of apples to apples comparison.

Phoenix

I would be careful of buying at that store as they only let you exchange for something else but will not give you your money back if you can’t find anything else you like. I was looking for a bed a couple of months ago and that was the policy that scared me away.